Belmont Public Schools COVID-19 Protocols for 2023-24




While masks are not required or recommended in K-12 settings any individual who wishes to continue to mask, including those who face higher risk from COVID-19, will be supported in that choice. 


Following a positive test result and after at least 5 days of isolation - a high-quality mask should be worn through Day 10:

  • If the individual has a negative test on Day 5 or later, they do not need to mask.

  • If the individual is unable to mask, they may return to programming with a negative test on Day 5 or later.

Following exposure to a COVID-positive individual, masks should be worn for 10 full days.

For symptomatic individuals - Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible, until symptoms are fully resolved.


Vaccines continue to be the best way to protect individuals against the effects of COVID-19. DESE and DPH strongly recommend that all faculty, staff, and students, including the Commonwealth’s youngest children ages 6 months – 5 years, receive the COVID-19 vaccine primary series and all boosters, as they become eligible for them.

Not only does it provide individual-level protection, but high vaccination coverage reduces the burden of COVID-19 on people, schools, healthcare systems, and communities.

COVID-19 Vaccine Stay Up to Date CDC

Belmont Public Schools and Belmont Health Department encourage everyone who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines and booster.


We must continue to do our part for the health and safety of our community. We expect individuals to be familiar with the symptoms of COVID-19 and remain at home and test per guidance.

People who have symptoms of respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, such as cough, fever, sore throat, vomiting, or diarrhea, should stay home. Testing is recommended for people with symptoms of COVID-19 as soon as possible after symptoms begin. People who are at risk for getting very sick with COVID-19 who test positive should consult with a healthcare provider right away for possible treatment, even if their symptoms are mild. Staying home when sick can lower the risk of spreading infectious diseases, including COVID-19, to other people.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Fever (100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), or chills or shaking chills

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Muscle aches or body aches

  • Cough (not due to other known causes, such as chronic cough)

  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, when in combination with other symptoms

  • Headache, when in combination with other symptoms

  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies), when in combination with other symptoms

Please visit the Health Services website for Illness Guidelines for illnesses/symptoms other than COVID-19.  BPS Illness Guidelines



Individuals who present with symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day:

  • Symptomatic individuals should be sent home and allowed to return to their program or school 

    • If symptoms remain mild and they test negative, OR 

    • They have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND 

    • Their symptoms are resolving, OR

    • If a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis. A negative test is strongly recommended for return.  

  • Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible until symptoms are fully resolved. For symptomatic individuals, DPH recommends a second test within 48 hours if the initial test is negative.


DESE and DPH are NOT funding, or recommending weekly surveillance testing of asymptomatic individuals, or contact tracing. 

Positive COVID results will not be reported to DESE. The Belmont Health Department and Belmont Public School Nurses will monitor the positive case counts. BPS will request that all positive test results be reported to your school nurse.

Please report all positive results to your school nurse by completing this COVID-19 Positive Reporting Form. Call your school absence line to report your child’s absence.

You will receive an email with the appropriate guidance for returning to school.

See ISOLATION for further guidance


If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and isolate for at least 5 full days 

  • If an individual has COVID-19: regardless of vaccination status, you must isolate from others for 5 full days. This means staying home and not participating in any activities outside of the home or having visitors in the home.

The day of the positive test or the first day of symptoms, whichever is first, is day 0. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.

RETURNING TO SCHOOL after 5 full days of isolation guidance

Children and staff who test positive must isolate for at least 5 days. If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours, they may return to programming after Day 5 and should wear a high-quality mask through Day 10:

  • If the child has a negative test on Day 5 or later, they do not need to mask.

  • If the day 5 test remains positive, they may return to programming but should continue to mask through day 10.

Please note: K-12 schools and childcare settings have their own exposure and isolation protocols, which differ slightly from guidance for the general public.

COVID-19 Isolation and Exposure Guidance for Children and Staff in Child Care, K-12, Out-of-School Time (OST) and Recreational Camp/Program Settings


Quarantine is no longer required nor recommended for children or staff in K-12 settings, regardless of vaccination status or where the exposure occurred. All exposed individuals may continue to attend school as long as they remain asymptomatic.

Those who can mask should do so until Day 10, and it is recommended that they test on Day 6 of exposure. If symptoms develop, follow the guidance for SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS.

Contact tracing is no longer recommended or required in K-12 settings. BPS will continue to work with the Belmont Health Department in the case of outbreaks.

COVID-19 Positive Reporting Form

Please report all COVID-19 positive test results to your school nurse using this LINK

You will receive an email from your school nurse with guidance for a safe return to school.